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2016 - JIM CORBETT PARK to see the tigers

On the way to Myanmar, a short stop in India


View 2016 - NGAPALI BEACH on hasbeen's travel map.

IT IS JANUARY & I AM ON THE WAY TO MYANMAR TO SEE SOPHY, WE WILL SPEND A LOT OF DAYS AT NGAPALI BEACH.

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ITS JANUARY IN OTTAWA - NO SURPRISE HERE - WINTER HAS BARELY STARTED & I ALREADY LONG TO BE SOMEWHERE HOT.

I AM GOING TO SPEND 6 DAYS IN INDIA ON THE WAY. IF I HAD KNOWN THE VISA WAS GOING TO COST OVER $200 I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN ANOTHER ROUTE, BUT THERE IS ALSO THE LURE OF THE JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK WHERE I MIGHT SEE A TIGER IN THE WILD.

I SHOULD ALSO HAVE REALISED THAT INDIA IS NOT THAT HOT IN JANUARY EITHER.

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NEW DELHI IS THE FIRST STOP - ATROCIOUS AIR POLLUTION & LOTS OF TRAFFIC BUT I AM ONLY HERE FOR A DAY BEFORE HEADING TO THE PARK, SOME 10 HOURS AWAY TOWARDS THE MOUNTAINS. MOST OF MY TIME IN DELHI WAS SPENT SLEEPING AFTER THE 14 HOUR FLIGHT FROM TORONTO. I HAD ARRIVED IN THE MIDST OF A TRAFFIC EXPERIMENT WHERE ONLY CARS WITH ODD OR EVEN NUMBER PLATES WERE ALLOWED ON THE ROAD. IT WAS TO SEE IF POLLUTION WOULD DECREASE. IF IT HAD I DID NOT NOTICE & THERE SEEMED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC THAT MANAGED TO KEEP MOVING QUITE FAST. SO MAYBE THINGS IMPROVED A BIT - HARD TO TELL

THE FLIGHT WAS A PAIN IN THE BUTT, SO THE PRODUCT ADVERTISED HERE MIGHT COME IN HANDY.

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LOTS OF INTERESTING SIGHTS ALONG THE WAY ..

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MY DRIVER HAD TOLD ME THAT HE HAD HOUSE COWS & WE STOPPED AT HIS PLACE SO HE COULD SAY HELLO TO HIS FAMILY, & HIS COWS ... HE HAS THREE & NOW I KNOW WHY THEY ARE CALLED HOUSE COWS - THEY LIVE IN HIS HOUSE, WELL, THE YARD OF HIS HOUSE ...

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HE HAS A NICE OLD ENGLISH BIKE - A ROYAL ENFIELD IF MEMORY SERVES ..

HERE ARE TWO FRIENDS OF THE GUIDE & A SON & DAUGHTER ..

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HIS SISTER & MOTHER ...

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I WAS GIVEN SOME SNACKS TO EAT BY HIS WIFE, HERE DOING THE COOKING ..

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SOME NEIGHBOURS PASSING ...

AND THIS IS FUEL COOK-HOUSES .. COW DUNG FORMED INTO CAKES & COOKED.

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ANOTHER NEIGHBOUR ..

WIFE & SISTER STILL COOKING ... THE COWS ARE JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL.

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MY GUIDE - WITH THE HAT ..

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TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE FAMILY & HIT THE ROAD ..

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THE OVERTURNED TRUCK COMPLETELY BLOCKED ONE SIDE OF A DIVIDED HIGHWAY - SO OF COURSE WE TOOK THE OTHER SIDE & DROVE DOWN THE WRONG SIDE WITH TRAFFIC & ANIMALS & PEOPLE - WHITE KNUCKLE TIME FOR ME - THE DRIVER JUST KEPT HONKING THE HORN ..

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SUGAR CANE BEING LOADED I THINK ..

DON'T WANT TO GET TO CLOSE TO THIS LOAD ..

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NOW ARRIVED AT THE HOTEL, JUST OUTSIDE THE PARK. NO TIGERS YET - TIME FOR AN EVENING STROLL AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOTEL.

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HAD A CUP OF TEA WITH THE YOUNG FELLA WHO TOOK ME FOR THE WALK ..

NEXT DAY I AM TO GO SEE A TEMPLE IN THE MIDDLE OF A RIVER ..

NICE BIRDS TO LOOK AT WHILE I AM WAITING FOR THE DRIVER ..

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THESE CROWS ARE CLEANING THE BONES OF A MONKEY ..

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HERE IS THE TEMPLE ..

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I EXPECT IT LOOKS A LOT BETTER WHEN THE RIVER HAS SOME WATER IN IT BUT IT WAS A NICE DRIVE ..

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HAD TO CROSS THIS SMALL STREAM TO GET TO & FROM THE HOTEL ..

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A REALLY EARLY START TO GET TO THE PARK & WE MANAGE TO GET OVER THE STREAM OK IN THE DARK

NOW IN JIM CORBETT PARK - THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG CAT'S PAW PRINT HERE - DO YOU SEE IT, ME NEITHER, WELL MAYBE ..

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TERMITE MOUND

NICE EARLY MORNING SCENERY & I WAS ON THE BACK OF AN OPEN JEEP - WITH 3 BLANKETS, HAT, SCARF & GLOVES I WAS NOT TOO COLD ...

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEER ..

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& THAT'S IT FOR THE PARK - A LONG WAY TO GO TO SEE NOT TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING. NO TIGERS - NO ELEPHANTS .. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE LAST WEEK ..

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BACK ACROSS THE STREAM & I THOUGHT THE BUS HAD GOT STUCK BUT IT WAS JUST GETTING A WASH ..

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A BIT OF ROAD SIDE ENTERTAINMENT .. NO ONE SEEMED VERY PLEASED TO SEE ME & I LEFT PRETTY SMARTISH ..

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BACK TO THE DRIVERS HOUSE ..

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AND IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT I WAS STRUCK DOWN WITH A VIOLENT BOUT OF DELHI BELLY - ONLY JUST MAKING IT TO THE HOTEL WHERE I STAYED AT DEATHS DOOR FOR TWO NIGHTS.

EN ROUTE TO MY OWN HOTEL, THE DRIVER MANAGED TO FIND ME A WESTERN TOILET AT ANOTHER HOTEL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THERE WAS AN INTERESTING EPISODE WHERE THE DRIVER PAID FOR A 'TOLL' ON THE ROAD - HE TOLD ME THIS WAS NOT IN ANY WAY OFFICIAL, PEOPLE SET UP THEIR OWN 'TOLL' - HIGHWAY ROBBERY, NEW DELHI STYLE.

AFTER WHICH I MANAGED TO FLY TO YANGON TO MEET SOPHY & WAS STILL ILL TWO DAYS LATER WHEN WE LEFT TO FLY TO THE BEACH,

Posted by hasbeen 04:10 Archived in India Comments (0)

2015 - MANDALAY & The National Gardens at Pyin Oo Lwin

I am off the Pandaw boat & looking forward to standing still for a bit. It has been a relaxing cruise but we got off & did something every day. That is very tiring ..

Five days more of Myanmar, sitting around the Ayerwaddy River View Hotel on the outskirts of Mandalay.

It does have a river view - from the roof-top terrace & bar. Free cocktails at around five every evening brings a few non-guests most night.

The hotel is very pleasant, but not too photogenic.

The food is good, the pool tiny but nice enough to sit around & read the book I stole from the library on board.

The Flame Trees of Thika with a photo of Hailey Mills on the cover - my teenage crush.

Around the hotel it is quite a rough area but non-threatening. Lots of places with auto parts.

There is a small park across the divided highway between hotel & river. I spent a few hours there watching life on the river & sunsets.

On day three of my stay I had one of the very pleasant reception girls get me a ride to the hill station of Pyin Ooo Lwin.

It's quite a ways away, with a few switchbacks creeping up the mountain.

Here I am arriving at the first stop - the Pagoda ..

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I felt like praying a little bit - many cars here are curiously, right hand drive but they drive on the right too. Somewhat scary as the driver trusts to luck nothing is coming when he pulls out to overtake..

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More ladies wanting their photo taken with the strange grey haired tourist .. & one girl in Yellow too ,,

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and another in Yellow - lots of prayers up here .

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Lots of photos being taken too ..

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the driver waited for me by the food stalls ...

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& then drove us off to the ex-governors mansion & some nice old English cars ..

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Following the horse & buggies ..

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and the lady road construction workers ..

we arrive at a spectacular botanic garden ..

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Every time I turned a corner, there was another request for a photo - a tough job, but ...

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Any time you see photos of Pyin Oo Lwin - this will be one of them ..

but probably not this one ..

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These are petrified trees I think ..

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A really pretty place to take some time - A bit cooler than Mandalay ... but still hot ..

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Coming back to meet the driver I got asked by several more groups for my picture .. I am getting quite expert at getting theirs after they get mine.

Here's a lovely young family out for the day ..

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with the youngster totally bemused ..

I stopped here to get the driver & myself a drink & had to wake him up to give him his. I would have liked to spend longer here but it was getting a bit hot & I was getting tired ..

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so we just drove around town a little ... more lady construction workers ..

more old colonial buildings ..

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more Pagodas ..

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a few street vendors selling to the pilgrims - it was here I first became aware of the practise of ladies selling birds to people so they can be released.

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We head off to a very popular waterfall ..

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Many people out for the day - all locals by the look of it ..

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kids dressed in their Sunday best - on the way home from the Pagodas perhaps ..

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The one below does look like a tourist though ..

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people scaring themselves crossing the wobbly bridge ..

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Picnics & ice cream ... & time to head back down to Mandalay ..

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Some time looking down from the little park on the river ..

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The hotel is a bit out of town but you don't get scenes like this down-town Mandalay .. or down-town anywhere ..

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For a couple of days there had been a lot of noise out back of my hotel. Chanting & music coming from loudspeakers.

On one of my walks through the back streets, the road was blocked off by the back of a temporary structure. I was going to bi-pass it when a man showed me I could walk by the side. As I got to the front of the structure, a man took me by the hand and led me inside. It was jammed with people, dressed finely, seated on the floor with food on tiny tables. The man offered me food & a place to sit but I begged off as I would have had trouble sitting & even more trouble getting up.

I made as dignified exit as I could & later realised I had been attending a young monks initiation ceremony & that was what all the noise had been about.

An amusement park with the Ferris wheel was just a walk away too, so I took that in on my way back to the hotel.

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There's something you don't see too often .. naked boys riding bicycles ..

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There's the river from the bar on the roof of the hotel. I spent a very pleasant evening up here chatting to an Austrian Tourist who was biking through Myanmar & a French girl who is a travel agent in Myanmar - I must remember to introduce her to Sophy of RED IXORA fame.

The next day I am sitting in the lobby waiting for my cab to the airport & notice a procession going on outside.

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By the time I decide to take photos the procession has gone so I took pictures of these two receptionists - goodbye girls & goodbye Myanmar, It was a treat..

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& here are the bullocks returning from the initiation ceremony.

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And that's that for Myanmar & I promise to never talk of Sophy & Red Ixora again ..

Well - not til August when I get back from visiting her & Mother in Myanmar.

Please scroll down a little & leave a comment ..

Posted by hasbeen 04:10 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

2015 - THE IRRAWADY of MYANMAR - The U Bien Bridge

A FITTING END TO A GREAT CRUISE

WE VISIT THE WOODEN U BIEN BRIDGE ... SOME CHOOSE TO WALK THE BRIDGE & CLIMB DOWN INTO ONE OF THESE BOATS ..

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SOME OF US CHOOSE TO JUST TAKE THE SLOW BOAT ...

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PERHAPS MY FINAL GIRL IN YELLOW ...

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OUR OARSMAN FLOATS US GENTLY UP TO & UNDER THE BRIDGE ....

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THIS MUST BE ONE OF THE BEST PLACES IN THE WORLD FOR WEDDING PHOTOS ..

WITH A COW OR TWO LOOKING ON ...

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ANN & NANCY - BYE YOUNG LADIES .. SAFE TRIP HOME TO BELGIUM ..

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THE PANDAW CREW DO NOT FORGET US -- A SPECIAL TREAT

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SUE & PAM FROM AUSTRALIA ... BYE LADIES .. CHEERS!

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RUSH HOUR - MYANMAR STYLE ..

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BACK TO THE SHIP & THE LOCALS CALLING IT A NIGHT .. BUT MARIANNE, ERIC & I WENT ASHORE FOR ONE LAST BEER OR TWO. WE FOUND Mr SO & A LOT OF CREW IN A BAR & HOISTED A FEW. ERIC TRIED CHEWING THE BETEL NUT STUFF & WISHED HE HAD NOT.

I TRIED IT A FEW DAYS AGO & KNOW HOW HE FEELS.

WE BOUGHT A LOT OF DRINKS, THE BETEL, SOME CHEROOTS AND GOT CHANGE OUT OF TWENTY DOLLARS I THINK.

A GOOD WAY TO END THE CRUISE.

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THE NEXT DAY, WHILE THAT LITTLE ONE DID HER CHORES, WE ALL DRIFTED OFF IN OUR SEPARATE DIRECTIONS.

OUR LUGGAGE HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM OUTSIDE OUR CABINS & I EXPECTED A CREW MEMBER TO LUG IT UP THE HILL BUT NO - A LOCAL LADY CARRIED IT - ON HER HEAD, NATURALLY.

END OF CRUISE BUT NOT END OF MYANMAR OR MY TRIP. FIVE DAYS TO GO IN MANDALAY & STILL A LOT OF PLACES AFTER THAT.

MOST OF THE PLACES VISITED HERE WOULD BE AVAILABLE AS PART OF A PACKAGE SOPHY HAS, OR SHE CAN TAILOR MAKE A VISIT FOR YOU ..

WHY NOT ASK HER AT RED IXORA TRAVEL & TOURS OF MYANMAR

THIS IS SOPHY ...

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LOVELY GIRL ..

Posted by hasbeen 04:11 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

2015 - THE IRRAWADY of MYANMAR - Pagodas at Sagaing

HERE WE ARE, OFF UP INTO THE HILLS BEHIND SAGAING - BARBARA, ANN & NANCY ON THE LEFT, Mr SO HANGING ON BEHIND AND ARTHUR

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ALTHOUGH I CAN DISTINCTLY REMEMBER ARTHUR HANGING ON OUTSIDE TOO - TOO MUCH BEER MAYBE.

THERE ARE SIX OF US IN THIS TRUCK - THEY SQUEEZE WHAT SEEMS TO BE TWENTY MYANMAR PILGRIMS INTO THE SAME SPACE ..

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IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SPOT - COMING IN ON THE BOAT, ANN COUNTED 56 GOLDEN PAGODAS ON THE HILL BEFORE SHE GAVE UP COUNTING ..

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THE RIVER IS SOMEWHERE DOWN THERE ..

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UP HERE, IT'S ALL BUDDHA & PAGODAS ..

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AND PILGRIMS .. YOUNG & NOT SO YOUNG ..

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SOME SOUVENIRS FOR SALE ON THE STEPS LEADING DOWN ..

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WE HAVE MOVED ON TO ANOTHER PAGODA NOW - HERE ARE SOME OFFERINGS ..

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THERE ARE LIGHTS IN THE CROWN ABOVE THE BUDDHA, THEY CHANGE COLOUR & APPEAR TO MOVE ..

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MORE COLOURED LIGHTS AROUND THE BUDDHA ..

AND SOMETHING FOR THE KIDDIES ..

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MORE LADIES WANTING THERE PHOTO TAKEN WITH THE STRANGE TOURIST, ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT WANT ONE WITH MIKE. NOT STRANGE ENOUGH I EXPECT..

OUT ON THE STREET NOW, THE GROUP HEADS IN ONE DIRECTION & I HEAD IN THE OTHER TO FIND SOME SHADE & A CUP OF TEA ..

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WHICH I FIND AT THIS LITTLE SPOT ..

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A FEW VERY YOUNG NUNS COLLECTING ALMS. THEY DO NOT GO OUT SO OFTEN AS THE MONKS - ONCE EVERY FEW DAYS.

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FAR MORE NUNS HERE IN MYANMAR THAN I EVER SAW ANYWHERE ELSE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA ..

WE ARE NOW ABOUT TO ENTER A NUNNERY & ON THE BUS, I ASKED Mr SO WHAT THE RULES ARE FOR PHOTO TAKING INSIDE.

HIS ANSWER WAS THAT I WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION FIFTEEN DAYS AGO WHEN HE SAID WE CAN TAKE PHOTOS OF ANYTHING & ANYONE WE LIKE & LET THEM SAY NO.

EVEN POLICE, EVEN MILITARY.

FIFTEEN DAYS AGO! I BARELY REMEMBER FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO.

JUST ABOUT THE FIRST THING WE SAW AS WE ENTERED WAS THE ABSOLUTE BEST PHOTO OPPORTUNITY I HAD THIS TRIP - & THERE WAS A SIGN -- NO PHOTOS HERE.

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BUT HERE WE ARE IN THE NUNS KITCHEN & INTERRUPTING SOME GIRLS HAVING LUNCH .. & IT'S OK TO TAKE PHOTOS ..

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THESE NUNS ARE SAYING A PRAYER FOR US - WE HAD JUST DONATED A FEW DOLLARS FOR THE NUNNERY BUT EXPECT THEY WOULD HAVE SAID A PRAYER FOR US ANYWAY.

WE HAD BEEN INVITED INTO THE DOORWAY BEHIND. IT LED TO THEIR LIVING QUARTERS & IN ONE ROOM THEIR ELDERLY MOTHER SUPERIOR WAS ASLEEP ON A BED UNDER MOSQUITO NETTING. THEY DID NOT NOT MIND OUR BEING IN THE ROOM EVEN THOUGH THE NUN WAS NOT WELL.

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ON THE BUS I MANAGED TO GET A SHOT OF THE FORBIDDEN - IT'S SOME OF THE NUNS LOVELY PINK LAUNDRY HANGING ON A LINE. THAT LOOKED WONDERFUL BEHIND THE FORBIDDEN SIGN. IT WAS NOT THE LAUNDRY THAT WAS FORBIDDEN BUT THE NUNS BATHING AREA WAS JUST BEHIND, NOT VISIBLE IN THIS SHOT FROM THE STREET.

THINKING OF IT NOW, I SHOULD HAVE ASKED ONE OF THE NUNS TO PHOTOGRAPH THE LAUNDRY FOR ME.

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LEAVING THE NUNS, WE GO SEE GOLD BEING HAMMERED INTO EVER MORE THIN LEAVES ..

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MY DAILY GIRL IN YELLOW .. THEY WERE VERY CUTE & QUITE CHATTY TOO.

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AFTER THE GOLD RUSH WE HEAD TO A WEAVING FACTORY - A FULL DAY THIS ..

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... AND IT'S NOT OVER YET - SUNSET OVER THE U BEIN BRIDGE IS NEXT .. BUT I WILL LEAVE THAT FOR ANOTHER PAGE ..

Posted by hasbeen 04:12 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

2015 - THE IRRAWADY of MYANMAR - The 3rd Defile

THE THIRD DEFILE?

Any idea what that might be? No? Me neither.

So - I asked Mr So.

The answer - a Defile is a gorge, like a canyon. The first defile is upstream from the third.

When we get there we will spin around & head back south ..

Somewhere along the way, we spotted the very famous Irrawaddy Dolphins. Maybe four of the 50 or so left in the river. It was very exciting & I have a video that shows them but if you blink you miss them so I will not post it. You will just have to take my word for it.

We also saw at least one on the way back south but not even a video of that one.

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We were advised that on no account should we drink the water from the tap in our cabins. The tap water is filtered river water. Large quantities of bottled water were supplied & we were told to use it even for brushing our teeth.

I guess this lady missed the E Mail ...

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Some thing here being hoisted up to or down from the Pagoda ..

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Marianne - having a chat or chatting up the barman, it's hard to tell with her. Beer is complimentary so we just helped ourselves from the fridge but anyone who had a particularly busy day would ask someone to bring a bottle over...

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It must be close to here that we turned around .. does not look much like a defile to me but then what do I know.

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This a gold mining camp ..

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Extremely large log rafts ..

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Marianne again - not having much luck in the chatting up department ..

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Stowaways ...

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Passing MIngun ...

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Passing Mandalay - the ferris wheel is in an amusement park, just a walk away from the hotel I will be staying at in a couple of days ...

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About to park the boat at Sagiang - the kids spot us & raise the alarm ..

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Still a while before getting off the boat but that's the end of the cruising..

Posted by hasbeen 04:13 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

2015 - THE IRRAWADY of MYANMAR - Kyauk Myaung, more pots

WITH A SIDE TRIP TO A GROG SHOP

WE HAVE SEEN POTS BEING MADE BEFORE ON THIS TRIP & NOW WE WILL SEE SOME MORE ...

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EXCEPT THESE POTS ARE BIG, REALLY BIG,

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REALLY REALLY BIG ....

UNUSUAL T-SHIRT THE GIRL IS WEARING ..

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I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE LITTLE BALLS ARE, LITTLE BALLS I EXPECT ..

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PASSENGERS MEETING THE LOCALS ..

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POTS IN THE MAKING ...

KIDS ..

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KIDS MULTIPLYING ..

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MR So EXPLAINING THE PROCESS TO NANCY IN THE DOORWAY NEXT TO THE INCREDIBLY GENEROUS CREW MEMBER WHO ESCORTED US SAFELY AROUND ON SHORE, MARIANNE LOOKING SUITABLY IMPRESSED & ROBERT ...

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THAT WAS ALL TAKING A WHILE SO I STEPPED OUTSIDE & WATCHED LIFE GOING ON OUTSIDE ..

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A FEW PEOPLE WORKING VERY HARD ..

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IN MYANMAR - YOU DON'T SEE TOO MANY PEOPLE SITTING AROUND NOT DOING ANYTHING ..

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YOUNG MONKS COLLECTING ALMS FOR THEIR ONE MEAL A DAY ..

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SMALL OBJECTS - I KNOW NOT WHAT - BEING CARRIED BY THIS LADY

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MORE KIDS ARE ARRIVING ...

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I WAS SITTING ON A BENCH HERE, JACKIE WAS ON THE BENCH TOO IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY ...

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KIDS JUST SITTING AROUND WITH US ...

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HERE THEY HAVE FOUND SOMETHING ...

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PROUD AS PUNCH, THEY SHOW US THEIR TREASURE - A MOTH ..

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LEAVING THE KIDS & THEIR MOTH, THE GROUP REASSEMBLES & WE WALK OVER THE ROAD .

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I THINK THIS MAY BE A KILN .. OR SOMEWHERE THE POTS ARE LEFT TO DRY PERHAPS ..

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ON UP THE ROAD WE GO - SAYING MINGALABA TO THE LOCALS .. SURPRISINGLY FEW PEOPLE ABOUT, & NO OTHER TOURISTS AT ALL ..

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WE STOP ON A HILL TO HAVE LOOK AROUND .. MARIANNE & JACKIE HERE ..

AND POTS & POTS & MORE POTS ...

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THIS LADY, LOOKING LIKE A MODEL OUT FOR A FASHION MAGAZINE PHOTO-SHOOT ..

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Mr So LEADS US UP HILLS & DOWN. INTO TINY BACK ALLEYWAYS .. NO ONE SEEMS TO MIND THE INTRUSION ..

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WE LEAVE THE POTTERY MAKING AREA & HEAD BACK TO THE BOAT. BARBARA BRINGS UP THE REAR AS USUAL - TAKING PHOTOS. MARIANNE & I ARE TRAILING THE GROUP TOO ..

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Mr So TRACKS BACK TO FIND US & LEADS US INTO A WARREN OF BACK ALLEYS WHERE WE MEET THESE PEOPLE ...

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& THIS LADY ..

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WHO POURS US A SMALL GLASS OF CLEAR LIQUID EACH .. WATER?

MARIANNE TAKES A SWIG & AN IMMEDIATE GRIMACE. BARBARA & I ALSO HAVE A TASTE & IT IS NOT WATER, FIRE-WATER PERHAPS, & NOT TOO BAD.

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Mr So TAKES US OUT BACK WHERE THIS GENTLEMAN IS BUSY MAKING THE NEXT BATCH. BARBARA ASKS HOW LONG THE PROCESS TAKES, IS IT A COUPLE OF MONTHS, A FEW WEEKS - WHAT?

TWENTY MINUTES - WE COULD HAVE STUCK AROUND FOR THE NEXT BATCH.

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A PURE SPIRIT, MADE FROM PALM - NONE OF US WENT BLIND OR GOT BLIND DRUNK ..

BUT BARBARA DOES LOOK A TRIFLE SQUIFFY ..

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IS THAT YOUR SECOND LADIES?

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WELL - THAT WAS A GOOD FUN DAY & WE FINALLY HEAD BACK TO THE BOAT..

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BYE KIDS --

Posted by hasbeen 04:14 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

2015 - THE IRRAWADY of MYANMAR - The Mingun bell

HEADING UP RIVER TO MINGUN TO SEE THE FAMOUS BELL ..

WE PASS THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE ..

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BEFORE GETTING TO THE BELL, WE GET A CLOSE UP LOOK AT WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LARGEST STUPA IN THE WORLD, BUT UNCOMPLETED, WE ARE TOLD IT MAY NOW BE THE LARGEST PILE OF BRICKS ..

... IMPRESSIVE ALL THE SAME ..

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MARIANNE - LOOKING FRESH AS A DAISY, IN FRONT OF SOME MORE PILGRIMS ... THEY SURE DO GET PACKED INTO, & ONTO, THOSE TRUCKS ..

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A FEW FOOD SELLERS AT THE ENTRANCE -- WE TURN LEFT AND START THE WALK AROUND THE BUILDING .. THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE RIGHT AT THE VERY TOP & I AM REALLY SORRY I DID NOT GO UP THERE TOO ...

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PERHAPS THIS IS THE PILE OF BRICK THAT WAS MENTIONED ..

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AT THE BACK NOW & THE CRACK CAUSED BY AN EARTHQUAKE IS CLEARLY VISIBLE ..

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AFTER GOING RIGHT AROUND THE STUPA, IT IS ONLY STEPS TO THE LARGEST UN-CRACKED BELL IN THE WORLD - Mr SO, TRYING HIS BEST TO CRACK IT ON THE LEFT ...

MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE - THE KIDS ARE PLAYING ..

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SHE DOES NOT SEEM TOO IMPRESSED ..

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MIKE PROBABLY HAD A GO AT RINGING THE BELL.

AND HERE IS THE BUILDING THAT HOUSES THE BELL ..

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ANOTHER ONE NOT TOO IMPRESSED ..

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AND THE KIDS PLAY ON ..

WE WALK DOWN THE STREET PASSING QUITE A LOT OF SOUVENIR SHOPS ..

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AND COME ACROSS THIS STUNNING BUILDING ...

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I HAD A SAW LIKE THAT ONCE. GREAT FUN TO MAKE IT SING ..

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MOST PEOPLE WENT OVER THE BUILDING BUT I SAT IN THE SHADE WITH JACKIE & HAD A DRINK OF SOMETHING COLD ... JACKIE HAS BY NOW PARTIALLY RECOVERED FROM THE DREADED LURGIE THAT AFFECTED A FEW OF THE PASSENGERS . BUT NOT THE KENYANS WHO HAVE NOW DEPARTED. THEY WERE RUMOURED TO HAVE DRUNK 32 BOTTLES OF COMPLIMENTARY GIN BETWEEN THEM WHICH MIGHT EXPLAIN IT ..

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LOVELY TOES ...

AND YES - THAT IS A CHICKEN IN THE LADIES LAP ..

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SITTING THERE, I HAD A GIRL FANNING ME & SHE DID THAT ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STREET BUT STILL DID NOT MAKE A SALE I AM AFRAID.

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I HEADED FOR SOME SHADE & A NICE CUP OF TEA HERE. THAT IS SOME SORT OF PRESS BEHIND THE LITTLE GIRL ..

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BACK TO THE BOAT - TOURISTS ARRIVING AS WE GET READY TO LEAVE ..

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I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TAXI ..

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WE HEAD NORTH ... PASSING MORE LIFE ON THE RIVER. THINGS YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO SEE ANYWHERE ELSE ..

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THESE PEOPLE ARE STUCK ON A SAND BAR ...

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HE IS CHECKING THE DEPTH ..

& SHE IS TELLING EVERYONE WHAT TO DO ..

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ANOTHER ONE STUCK - ONE OF OUR COMPANION SHIPS

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WE SPEND A WHILE HAULING THEM OFF THE SAND BAR ..

WE STRUCK A SAND BAR AS WELL. QUITE THE SHOCK WHEN THE BOAT GRINDS SUDDENLY TO A HALT.

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THIS IS THE PILOTS HELPER. HE GOES OUT IN FRONT OF OUR BOAT CHECKING THE DEPTH.

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MORE RIVER LIFE ..

STANDING ROOM ONLY ON THE FERRY .. PACKED IN LIKE CATTLE YOU COULD SAY ..

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AND SO ENDS ANOTHER GREAT DAY ON THE AYERWADDY RIVER. YOU SHOULD TRY IT SOME TIME SOON.

Posted by hasbeen 04:15 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

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